Full Service Backyard Tree Planting

Is Full Service Right for You?

©2015 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

What's Included

Our program is designed to offer you expert advice and planting services, so you can be confident knowing your trees will be given the best conditions for long-term success.

The program includes:

  • 30-minute site consultation with a LEAF arborist to select species and planting locations
  • 5 to 8 foot tall native deciduous tree OR 2 to 4 foot tall native evergreen tree
  • delivery and full planting service
  • mulch and planting/care guide
  • ongoing advice through seasonal e-mail tips, follow-up visits and answers to tree health and care questions

You pay the subsidized price of only $160 - $230 per tree

Native shrubs also available for $30 each and eastern white cedars are available for $50 each.

If you wish to have a shrub or cedar planted, there is a $25 planting fee per item. If a tree is not purchased, a minimum of four shrubs/cedars must be ordered for free delivery, otherwise, a $25 delivery fee applies.

Note: all prices are per item and do not include applicable taxes.

©2015 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

Five Easy Steps

  1. Review our policies and program details to determine if the Full Service program is right for you.
  2. Complete our online application to let us know what you’re looking for.
  3. Enjoy your 30-minute site consultation with one of our arborists who will assess your property’s soil, sunlight and space conditions and help you select the best species and planting locations. At the end of the consultation, you will make full payment for your trees and shrubs!
  4. Let LEAF take care of the planting! We will contact you at least two days prior to your planting date.
  5. Care for your tree and shrubs and enjoy the benefits of a greener space!
©2016 Kevin Halverson / LEAF

Our Policies

We are dedicated to growing our urban forest by getting the right trees in the right places with the right care. This means that we have some unique policies you should know about:

  • LEAF only provides species native to southern Ontario that suit your site conditions. Species choice may be limited based on your soil type, available sunlight and geographic region. See LEAF's complete species offered list.
  • LEAF may limit the number of trees and shrubs we can plant on your property based on your municipality’s policies, the age of your property and/or the space you have available for planting.
  • LEAF only plants in backyards or fenced-in side yards. If you wish to plant in your front or unfenced side yard, please use our Do-It-Yourself program option.
  • LEAF is unable to take scheduling requests for planting. To maintain the most efficient (and eco-friendly!) planting routes, we schedule planting dates based on geographic location. Check out the Planting tab for more details.
  • LEAF does not consult or plant on sites where major landscaping or construction is underway or will be underway soon. All major work must be completed prior to your site consultation and planting. Check out the Before We Plant tab for more details.
  • LEAF does not plant on steep slopes including ravines and may have limitations to plant on moderate slopes.

Please be sure to read through the Ordering & Cancellation and Our Guarantee, Your Commitment sections below for more detailed policies that apply.

©2017 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

Space Requirements

Trees and shrubs require space below ground for root development and above ground for crown development. We will help you select appropriate species for your property based on the available space.

Your planting site must meet the following minimum space requirements. Please note, more space may be required for larger species:

Site Conditions Shrubs SMALL Trees Med-Large Trees
Area of soft surface required 5' x 5' 10' x 10'  15' x 15'
Distance from fence/property line 3' 5' 5'
Distance from hard surfaces (deck/paving) 3' 5' 7'
Distance from buildings with foundations 3' 10' 10'
Distance from existing trees 8' 15' 20'
Distance from stumps or existing ash trees 8' 8' 8'
Distance from swales 5' 5' 5'
Overhead wires not an issue avoid avoid
Raised beds or container planting not recommended never never

For more information on why these space requirements exist, please click here.

©2015 Kevin Halverson / LEAF

Planting to Fulfill a Tree Removal Permit

While LEAF frequently works with clients who are required to plant a tree as a condition of a tree removal permit, it is important to note that LEAF tree sizes, planting seasons and species offerings may differ from those outlined in those permits. Most permit officers are familiar with the LEAF program, however, we recommend reviewing the following points with them to see if they are willing to make accommodations for trees planted/delivered by LEAF:

Tree Size

Most permits include a required size of tree to be planted, typically measured by caliper, or diameter of the trunk, in millimeters (e.g., 50mm caliper tree). LEAF trees are measured in height, not caliper or trunk diameter, and are typically smaller than most permit requirements. We recommend getting verbal or written approval from your permit officer for this to ensure a tree planted through LEAF will fulfill your permit requirements.


Most permits include a planting deadline. LEAF is unable to take scheduling requests and your planting/delivery date can happen at any point during our planting/delivery season. This typically means anytime between April and June 30th for our spring season and anytime between September and November 30th for our fall season. The LEAF program is first come, first served, so your planting/delivery season will depend on the timing of your consultation and our inventory availability at that time. Therefore, we recommend contacting us well before your permit deadline, as you may need a deadline extension from your permit officer to accommodate your planting/delivery season with LEAF.

Species Requirement

Most permits require a specific tree species (e.g., a sugar maple) to be planted. During your consultation however, LEAF will recommend species that suit your property conditions, which may not match your required planting species. We recommend asking your permit officer for flexibility to allow you to plant a large or medium native shade tree rather than a specific species.

Before we can conduct your consultation, your tree must be removed and permission from permit officers regarding tree size, deadlines and species requirements (as described above) must be confirmed.

Please note: The City of Markham does not accept LEAF trees to fulfill plantings required as a condition of a tree removal permit.

Your Site Consultation

Preparing For Your Consultation

If your property meets our minimum space requirements, you can complete our online application found at the bottom of this page. Once we receive your application, we will contact you to book your site consultation with one of our arborists. The sooner you book your site consultation, the wider the selection of trees and shrubs you will have to choose from (our program operates on a first come, first served basis so some species may be limited).

During your site consultation, our arborist will talk with you about your available planting space, property conditions and your preferences to help you select the most appropriate species and planting locations. To get the most out of your site consultation, here are some things to think about beforehand:

  • What are your reasons for wanting a tree or shrub? Are there specific characteristics you’re looking for?
  • Are there specific characteristics that you do not want your tree or shrub to have?
  • How large do you want your tree or shrub to get? How tall? How wide?
  • Is your yard sunny or shady?
  • Do you have other trees and shrubs on your property and neighbouring properties? Are they full grown or will they get bigger?
  • Is your property in a new development?
  • Will you be doing any renovations or building a deck in the future?

We encourage you to explore our Species Offered list to learn about the native trees and shrubs we have available!

©2010 Matthew Higginson / LEAF

During Your Site Consultation

Site consultations are generally carried out from March to November. The consultation is 30 minutes and will take place within a two-hour window during working hours on a weekday. A limited number of evening and weekend appointments are also available. During your site consultation, your arborist will:

  • Assess your soil, sunlight and available space;
  • Assist you in selecting appropriate species and planting locations;
  • Talk with you about proper care and maintenance for your new trees and shrubs;
  • Request payment;
  • Finalize the siting form that outlines the planting locations in detail, as well as the species selected for each location. The siting form will also act as your receipt.
©2016 Brenna Anstett / LEAF


Your arborist will take payment in full for your order at the end of your site consultation. LEAF accepts payment by credit card. Payment must be made in full before planting occurs.

If for any reason you decide not to purchase a tree at the time of the site consultation, there is a $100 (+HST) charge for the site consultation. Your site consultation is valid for one year, so if you decide to purchase a tree(s) following your site consultation, the $100 (+HST) fee will be deducted from the cost of your order, provided no species or location changes have been made.

If you decide to order only shrubs and/or cedars at the end of your site consultation, the cost of these will be in addition to the $100 (+HST) you’ve already paid. The cost of the site consultation will only be deducted from your total when you order a tree.

Cancellations and Order Changes

  • We require two business days' notice for site consultation appointment cancellations or a $40 fee will apply.
  • After species selections are confirmed and payment is made, any changes to your order must be approved by an arborist and a $20 administrative fee may apply.
  • If you wish to postpone your paid order to a later planting season, there is a deferral charge of 25% of the cost of the order.
  • If you wish to cancel a paid order, we keep the consultation fee ($100 +HST), as well as 25% of the cost of the remaining order. We will refund the rest using the original payment method.

Planting Your Tree

©2017 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

Before We Plant

Underground Locates

Before we dig, LEAF is legally required to request locates from utility companies to ensure that we know the location of buried cables/wires/lines that may be present on your property. Examples of these include gas, hydro, street lighting, internet/phone cables, etc. On some occasions, the utility companies may send someone out to visit your property to mark underground utilities.

It is the property owner's responsibility to disclose to LEAF any private buried cables/wires/lines or utilities that you or previous property owners may have installed. Examples of these include backyard lighting, irrigation systems or pool lines. If you have private buried lines or utilities present on your property near any planting locations, you may be required to sign LEAF's Irrigation and Lighting Disclosure form at your site consultation.


Other Preparations

To ensure your property is ready for us, please do the following:

  • Remove any existing stumps, paving or other objects in or near the planting location(s).
  • On your planting day, we will need access to an outdoor water supply so that we can water your trees and shrubs after planting. Please ensure that your outdoor tap is accessible and functioning before we arrive. A hose is not necessary.


Depending on when your order is placed, we will plant your trees and shrubs in either our spring or fall planting season. Spring planting begins in April and continues through to the end of June. Fall planting begins in September and continues through to the end of November. Your planting could take place at any point during these three-month periods.

We will notify you two business days prior to your planting date, but unfortunately cannot provide you with a specific time of day. To maintain the most efficient planting routes, we are unable to accommodate scheduling requests. You do not need to be present/on site on the day of planting, as long as we have access to your property. This means that any gates must be left unlocked all day.

We will plant, mulch and water your trees and shrubs, and you will receive our Planting and Care Guide via email. Please carefully follow the Planting and Care Guide - you will need to follow the instructions in order for our guarantee to apply.

If we are delivering trees or shrubs that you are planting yourself, they will be left in a secure location, along with mulch. They should be planted as soon as possible; however, if you are unable to plant them right away, be sure to water them every day until they are planted as the pots can dry out very quickly!

Our Guarantee, Your Commitment

© 2016 Laura Tipton / LEAF

Our Guarantee

LEAF is committed to growing our urban forest, and by planting with us you agree to join us in that goal – thank you! We guarantee that, as long as proper care instructions are followed, trees/shrubs will produce leaves by the first July 15th after planting.

Trees/shrubs planted or delivered in spring (between April 1-June 30): If your tree does not produce leaves by July 15th of that same year, you must contact us by that same date in order to be considered for a replacement.

Trees/shrubs planted or delivered in fall (between Sept 1- Nov 30): If your tree does not produce leaves by July 15th of the following year, you must contact us by that same date in order to be considered for a replacement.

Please note: LEAF will not consider replacing plants when concerns are received after this deadline, or when proper care, including twice-weekly watering, has not been provided. Animal damage, weather damage or other damage that occurs to your tree after planting is not covered.

©2014 Daniel Stummer / LEAF

Your Commitment to Care

Getting the right species in the right place is the first important step to success. Following planting, proper care is essential for your new trees and shrubs to thrive! Therefore, in the first two years after planting, you will need to:

  1. Water your trees and shrubs twice per week using approximately six gallons of water per item each time. That is the equivalent of using three full watering cans twice per week or using a hose with no nozzle on a very slow trickle for approximately 15 minutes twice per week. Avoid using a sprinkler as overhead watering can create favourable environments for fungal disease.
  2. Replenish the wood chip mulch at the base of your trees and shrubs in a donut shape, making sure it does not touch the trunk/stem.
  3. Protect your trees and shrubs from lawn mower, weed-whacker and animal damage - this can be fatal.

Refer to the Tree Care section of our site for more details.

Book Your Site Consultation

Neil Cochrane Kentucky CoffeetreeReady to get started?

If your property meets our minimum spacing requirements, get ready to complete our online application!

Please note: if you do not own the property, you should have the property owner present for the site consultation, or have them sign our Property Owner Permission Form to ensure that planting has been authorized for the property. The form must be submitted prior to your site consultation.

Once we receive your application, we will contact you to book your site consultation with one of our arborists.

Get started!


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